Sunday, 17 April 2016

Carnage & Wanton Slaughter

To think that a family of evil hunters could go out and deliberately target and kill animals. Every shot calculated and considered. 

The other day I took my tribe camping. It wasn't all about camping really; the focus of this trip was hunting. We were chasing a big ol' rutting stag and there's plenty of them running the hills on the property we were visiting - 10,000 acres on the fringe of the Liverpool Plains.
I didn't get a stag. I stalked an excellent fallow buck on the last morning but there were 500 long yards of open country between us and the does he was holding weren't giving me an inch. The deer were feeding up hill and when they dropped into a scrubby gully, I raced up the steep grassy clearing and spent a long time glassing the scrub.  No luck. Had I brought the Weatherby I might have taken a slow and careful shot. Maybe. But I had my battered old .308 and that 25-year-old rig can't stretch that far. The stag lived to rut another day!

We did collect a few goats for meat and skins.  And I shot a wonderful yearling on the second afternoon that will fill the freezer with venison for the winter - plenty for us - and all the rabbits we popped with the .22 made it into the esky.

So we hunted and we did some killing. We did it deliberately - went looking for the animals, found, stalked and shot them and then skinned and butchered the carcass ready for the freezer and the many fine meals we would enjoy.  My wife and daughters hunted with me and were available to lend a hand in all of the meat processing; though the youngest of my two girls doesn't enjoy that moment of transformation from furry carcass to meat in plastic wrap. Quite happy dealing with the beast - quite happy dealing with the meat - just doesn't want to be a part of the conversion.  And that's okay. She had a wonderful time even though she missed out on the skinning and gutting....

On the way home that same youngest daughter thought it might be a good idea to keep tally of the road kill we may encounter in the 407 km journey from farm to home.

To think that a family of evil hunters could go out and deliberately target and kill animals. 

Every shot calculated and considered. 

Meanwhile the wine tasters and campers and backpackers and grey nomads that frequent the roads in these parts throw there vehicles around without a care in the world for the wildlife that share the roads. Behind the wheel, man shows no mercy.  There is no sign whatsoever of the sympathy afforded to hunted animals when the focus is a holiday, an urgent wee stop, or making it to the last cellar door. Suddenly priorities change and the wildlife suffers. 

It was brutal.  Animals that had been driven over again and again and again. Others which had made it off the road only to die in the long grass, leaving behind them a bloody drag mark. Congealed bloody puddles and sprays of black blood from impact or worse painted the highway.  The carnage was merciless.

In all we found 49 carcasses on the road. Left to rot without enough compassion to even drag their bloodied broken bodies aside to prevent further mutilation by the next health-retreat-visiting, data-roaming-enabled, animal-loving driver -
  • (6 x) european ref fox;
  • (2 x) swamp wallaby;
  • (1 x) wallaroo;
  • (27 x) eastern grey kangaroo;
  • (2 x) magpie;
  • (2 x) magpie lark;
  • (1 x) common wombat;
  • (1 x) goanna - not sure on species!
  • (3 x) ring-tailed possum;
  • (3 x) brush-tailed possum; and
  • (1 x) sheep - yep - a sheep!

Le'me tell you something: the eight animals we deliberately hunted were handled with respect. Nothing went to waste.

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